I finished shading the pale grey areas of the first Epiphyllum yesterday; completed the edging in off-white this morning. This Epiphyllum is done – phew!
Epiphyllum 1 – Completed
Epiphyllum flowers come in a variety of shades from white to quite striking red. I chose to interpret the Epiphyllum above as a soft pink – shading the petals from fairly dark to quite pale leaving the white highlights without stitching.
In case you’re interested here is some information on Epiphyllum – orchid cactus. Epiphyllum is a genus of 19 species of epiphytic plants in the cactus family), native to Central America.
My friend Marlene has a couple growing in her greenhouse – the blooms are short lived – the bud takes quite a while to mature but it opens and dies in one night – a wonderful sight. Because these blooms open at night, nocturnal creatures, such as moths and bats, are responsible for pollinating the flowers.
This Epiphyllum (also now completed) represents a pink one.
Epiphyllum 2 – Completed
I’ve started working on the two remaining large leaves now. They will both go quite quickly because the shading consists of quite long stitching runs that connect easily – this makes the stitching straightforward, unlike with the flowers where I had to plan the stitching so the short runs would flow from one spot to another. I’ve been working for two hours this morning – I’ve stopped for now. I hope to get back to the leaf I’ve begun, later this afternoon.
I wasn’t planning on working on this anthurium but I had the medium pink thread on the machine so I started stitching. Once that colour was filled in, it just made sense to carry on with the pale pink and then finally the white. My plan was to fill in the grey using colour and I think the shading works well.
To see the contrast, here is the panel before I’d done any thread painting – you can see this anthurium is almost entirely shades of grey. In the finished flower, a hint of grey is still apparent but the overall sense of the flower is rose pink.
Tropical Flowers – Before Thread Painting
I’ve made headway with the epiphyllums as well – here’s the lower one with the darker greys thread painted with the deep rose thread pair. Maybe later this afternoon (its a full-blown blizzard outside – not leaving the apartment today) I’ll get back to it.
Epiphyllum – Thread Painting In Progress
It really is a blizzard – visibility is much worse than the photo below suggests – I can’t really see the trees across from the parking lot. It’s turning to freezing rain – I can hear ice pellets hitting my windows. Expected to continue as freezing rain until this evening when the temperature will get above freezing but there won’t be much melting until Friday/Saturday when it will be warm enough to rain (which is forecast).
This is winter life in Nova Scotia – freezing rain followed by snow followed by freezing rain – makes for very hazardous driving conditions. Everything is cancelled today – no school, no university, the games centre is closed, and on and on. Good thing my freezer is stocked – lots of soup and chili. Just keeping my fingers crossed the power stays on!
I spent the morning working on this wall hanging again. Finished Anthurium 1 – adding the white and finishing the pistil:
Anthurium 1 Done
Completed Anthurium 2 as well, then began work on the Epiphyllum. I’ve started to stitch in the darker grey with the mid-plum/pink colour; the lighter grey will be a soft pink, finishing with a slightly pink white.
Anthurium 2 Done; Started on Epiphyllum
There’s a second Epiphyllum that’s printed in pinks – the colour choices for that flower are straight forward.
Then, I want to get to the two large green leaves – they’ll be fairly easy to stitch and then it will feel like I’m close to home although those frangipani clusters will take quite a bit of time because they’re small and each stitch run will be short which means a lot of twisting and turning while I’m sewing.
However I’m beginning to see an end to this project – although not likely by the date I’ve set up for the last class meeting day in early March.
I’m moving along, slowly but surely, thread painting of the tropical flowers on the wall art piece. It both takes both more and less time than expected – a colour fills in rather quickly but while I’m working on an element it seems to be taking forever!
Except for a bit of white at the edge of the flower this anthurium is close to finished (it will still need some yellow down the middle of the pistil).
The second anthurium is about half done – my shoulders got tight so I stopped sewing – I still have the second side of the flower to stitch, bits of white and yellow to add in – then this flower, too, will be completed.
Yesterday, I while I had the darker red thread on the machine I stitched in the stamen filaments on the epiphyllum – the anthers will be last thing I do on the flower. I’m planning on filling in the grey elements with shades of soft pink to bring out more colour in the flower. A bit each day and it’s s-l-o-w-l-y getting done.
I took this photo in the main square in Cortona, Tuscany in April. We were visiting the city and enjoying the food and the shops and just wandering around – these two men deeply engrossed in conversation caught my attention. I’ve known from the outset this would become the basis of a wall art project.
Enjoying The Morning Sun
I started playing with the image yesterday – first I wanted to remove the other people, to isolate the companions. The blue-shirted gentleman is making a classical Italian gesture – thumb pressed to first and second fingers moving his wrist back and forth; in his other hand he has a cigarette. I want to bring the viewer’s eye to this man.
Morning Sun – Initial Steps
With the other people removed and just the shops behind, the men now stand out – I removed the advertising from the supermarket windows – I will do them in the same dark colours you can see through the open shop door. I intend to keep the partial bench on the right (having taken away the woman who is reading and smoking).
Looking at this image now, I think I want the men to be on the right side – it’s got something to do with the speaker being stronger in that position. I’m about to try cutting off the building on the right and repositioning it on the left, reversing the bench so it is cut off at the left edge – that will also allow me to strengthen the greenery growing on the stones of the facade behind.
It’s not enough that I’m taking on this project, I’m also working on a second. I took photos of some poppies in Marlene’s front garden this summer and these two oriental poppies are striking. I started by outlining the petals so I could do a tracing which I’ll use for cutting out red fabrics. They’re growing beside a light green hosta, with a taxus shrub behind and a darker hosta in the top left corner.
Tomorrow I will start looking for fabrics I can use to construct both these images. Generally I work on one piece at a time. For some reason both have been insistent I begin work on each of them.
Just Finished. Today I completed quilting the remaining wide border, created an embroidered label, attached a narrow hidden binding to the quilt edge and hand stitched it into place.
Double Convergence – Quilt Top
The quilt is relatively small – 45″ square – which means it could actually be a wall hanging or a smallish lap quilt/throw. I decided to finish with a hidden binding because I didn’t want to complicate the quilt top any further. The wide border mirrored the double convergence and that felt like it was enough.
Double Convergence – Quilt Back
I used the fabric from the back for the hidden biding – stitched it on the front using a 1/4″ seam, then folded the 1 1/4″ strip under leaving me with a 1/2″ binding. You don’t really see the invisible binding unless you’re up close and looking carefully.
A bit of explanation about the quilt back – I needed a narrowish insert to accommodate the quilt width. I had a small amount of ombre fabric left and decided a strip of ombre as it was worked perfectly – no piecing, except to extend the length of the strip. There’s enough interest in the fabric itself that it accents well.
That’s quilt #7 since the end of August – I’m planning one more for the Parrsboro show this coming summer. Now to turn to wall art pieces – I have lots of ideas, I just have to begin creating!